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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
The bill would amend the Family Code to prohibit the use of mechanical or physical restraint on a child during a judicial proceeding . The bill would require any restraint to be removed before the child's appearance unless the court finds the restraint is necessary or is the least restrictive restraint to prevent physical injury or escape. The bill would require a court to provide the child's attorney an opportunity to be heard before the court could order the use of restraint. If restraint is ordered, a court would be required to make findings of fact in support of the order.
The fiscal note above provides an adequate and accurate explanation of what HB 2934 would do.
A limited government is careful to protect the due process rights of citizens, including the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Children should not, unless they are specifically and credibly deemed to be a danger to the health and safety to themselves and others, be paraded into a courtroom in restraints. This can imply the presumption of guilt.
Furthermore, child defendants should not be treated in the same way as violent adult criminals.
We support this legislation for its affirmation of due process and individual liberty.